The title of this article should say it all ladies and gentlemen, the Future of Eve Online is a Bright one. With the release of Eve's latest expansion named "Crucible" CCP games has returned to the basics and the most important section of Eve Online, the Space Game. Now this doesn't mean we wont see plenty of juicy information on Dust 514, or continued iteration on Incarna elements, but as it stands for now CCP has focused on re-building the old and making it new and better. Crucible has brought a wide range of updates, quality of life improvements and has seen plenty of iteration. In this article I'll attempt to cover as much of Crucible as I can, focusing on Key Points while looking to the future of Eve Online and stopping at an interview with Eve Online's Creative Director, Tofi Frans Olafsson. So sit back and enjoy the ride, because if you're like me and you love the unique Sci Fi world of Eve..then you'll love what the future holds. Let's get started.
So, what is Crucible you ask? Crucible is Eve Online's 16th Free Expansion, released on November 29th 2011, Crucible brought with it a slue of changes, updates, and general coolness. Below I'll list some of that coolness for your viewing pleasure.
The New "NeoComm"
For those that have played Eve as long as I have, you remember that the NeoComm, or that thing that helped us interact with in while in stations and in space hasn't had much of a face lift over the years. Well that changed with Crucible 1.1 which was released this past January. The new NeoComm is faster, smoother, prettier and all around better than the last one. With the new NeoComm you can choose what to display, where to display it and how it's displayed. You accomplish this task by simply mousing over the "E" symbol at the top of the NeoComm, which brings the drop down list you see in the image above. This allows you to choose what buttons are displayed on the NC, and where. The NeoComm itself can be re-sized and moved and all windows now, when minimized lock to the NeoComm placing buttons on it for you to bring them back into view at your leisure. All and all, this is one off thee single most important updates to Eve in a long long time, as being able to interact with the client in a smooth, intuitive way is much better than well..not being able to.
New Nebula Backgrounds
The video below should be a decent enough start to this section, I hope it inspires awe in you as much as it did me when it was shown at last years fanfest...
Inspired and awe struck yet? I know I was and still am. This video showcased yet another strive to update Eve's graphics to make Eve feel even deeper, more real, and spark even more awe and imagination in it's player base. These new nebula were added in Crucible itself and are now a part of the game. They are not simply sky-box backdrops though, they are a physical part of the game world and when you traverse the game world what part of what nebula you see changes depending on where you are physically located.
Player made Ships join the Ranks
Four new player made ships joined the ranks of the Elite when Crucible launched, all were chosen through an art contest held by CCP on Deviant Art and judged by the fan base. As images of the ships do not do them justice, let me introduce you to another video showcasing them. The video below was created by Eve Online Player "Flamewave" all credit for the video goes to him/her. These ships are known as "Tier 3" Battle-cruisers and when brought into the game, allowed new tactics and strategies to emerge. These ships are Battle-cruiser sized and have the unique ability to fit battleship-class weapons systems. My personal favorite is the Gallente Talos, I love the sleek lines and curves. This video was also Favorited by CCP Games and showcased on their YouTube channel as well.
Dozens of goodies!
Crucible also brought with it nearly 100 changes in total ranging from balancing, to graphical upgrades, to new content, and everything in between. If you'd like to check this huge change list out for yourself, feel free to check the Crucible Features page located here: http://community.eveonline.com/en/crucible/features/ Though for ease of view, I'll go ahead and post a few changes below to give you an idea,
*Hybrid Weapon Balancing
Changes to a wide range of turrets, ships and ammo have brought the blasters back into a favorable light.
*Reduction in session change timer
10 less seconds waiting to change your session means quicker reshipping amongst other things.
*Stargates point towards correct place
In the interest of the Proper Science of Astral Cartography, all stargates in New Eden will now point correctly to their destinations, making some of them very freaking VERTICAL
*Bombs on UI, Other Turrets on UI
When using the tactical overlay, missile launcher ranges and bomb launcher explosion radii will show up in the same way as other turrets when you mouse over the modules, giving you the quick visual reference you need to better blow things up.
*Improvements to the Fitting Window
All ship computers have now been upgraded with the ability to compute a fitting's DPS (including turrets, drones and missiles) as a single sum using a mysterious celestial force called basic mathematics. Also, the CPU and Power Grid will now display remaining amount as opposed to used amount.
Your oversized Noctis will be commanding a bit more respect from now on.
*Ship Spinning and Graphics Tweaking
A classic station feature returns! Players will now be able to board/exit their ships to switch between Ship Mode and Captain's Mode. In addition to the introduction of Ship Mode, several graphical upgrades and visual enhancements have been made to enhance the looks and lighting of all four faction environments.
And much much more! All information above comes directly from the Crucible Website Features page linked above.
So what does the Future Hold for Eve Online? Plenty...
The Future holds with it the release of Dust 514, CCP games innovative and unique FPS-MMO set in the Universe of Eve Online. This new game will add a layer of inter connectivity between Eve Online and Dust 514 ranging from Orbital Bombardment, to destruction of planetary infrastructure. Along with this CCP plans to continue down the path of making the old new again, iterating on old systems, mechanics, content and ships. Stay tuned for Eve Online's 17th free Expansion entitled "Infero" slated for a Summer Release. I wish I had time to cover everything Crucible has had to offer the Eve Online community but there's just to much, so I'll leave you with that interview I promised you and hope that you enjoyed the article and enjoyed the interview as well. This is [TG-18th] Damion Rayne, signing off and saying "Fly safe and good hunting pilots!"